• college student;
  • condom use;
  • public health nursing;
  • Taiwan

ABSTRACT Objectives: To explore the correlates for nonuse of condoms and the factors that affect stages of change for regular condom use among college students in Taiwan.

Design and Sample: Cross-sectional, quantitative survey design. A total of 996 college students were recruited from two universities in Northern Taiwan.

Measures: Questionnaires collected data on demographic information, condom use, HIV/AIDS knowledge, confidence in using condoms in different situations, and perceived benefits and barriers to using condoms.

Results: The common reasons for not using condoms were trust in the partner (21.30%), partner dislike for condoms (19.49%), and perception of low risk (18.77%). Most sexually active students (52.4%) were in the earliest 2 stages of readiness to change (i.e., precontemplation, contemplation). Participants in action/maintenance were (a) 43.4% less likely to show a high knowledge score, (b) 4.08 times more likely to present high self-efficacy, and (c) 2.24 times more likely to be more religious than those in contemplation/preparation.

Conclusions: Among a highly literate group, college students, condom use is inconsistent and readiness to change is not imminent. This study reveals that preventive steps targeted at young adults should address other concerns related to condom use such as trust in partners and the alleged appeal of unprotected sex.